Navy primes BAE Systems for big purchase of interrogator/transponder avionics on F/A-18
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 15 Feb. 2016. U.S. Navy avionics experts are priming BAE Systems to provide hundreds of identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) transponders for military aircraft including the F/A-18 Hornet carrier-based jet fighter-bomber.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., sent a presolicitation Tuesday to the BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment in Greenlawn, N.Y., involving the AN/APX-111 Mode 5 combined interrogator transponder.
An IFF transponder is an identification system designed for command and control. It enables military and civilian air traffic controllers and interrogation systems to identify aircraft as friendly, and to determine their bearing and range from the interrogator.
The upcoming contract to BAE Systems (LON:BA) is for fiscal year 2017 and 2018 AN/APX-111 Mode 5 IFF transponders; shop-replaceable assemblies for the AN/APX-111; kits to convert previous configurations of the APX-111 to the Mode 5 configuration; integration of Mode 5 change kits; and test asset repairs. The value of the contract has yet to be negotiated.
The IFF system consists of an airborne transponder and a ground or airborne interrogator. The system measures the distance and heading to the aircraft, and the transponder encodes identification and position information into the response. IFF Mode 5 is the most recent implementation of the system.
The upcoming contract involves IFF transponders for jet fighter-bombers, helicopters, trainer aircraft, and transport aircraft. The contract will ask BAE Systems to provide 301 AN/APX-111 Mode 5 IFF transponders; 632 AN/APX-111 shop replaceable assemblies; 287 conversion kits to bring existing AN/APX-111 systems up to Mode 5 standards; 52 AN/APX-111 integrations; and 12 test asset repairs.
The AN/APX-117A(V), AN/APX-118A(V), and AN/APX-123A(V) are part of the BAE Systems common transponder (CXP) family that is the Navy's and Army's standard transponder for all retrofit and new aircraft applications.
The transponders are built on an open-system architecture and high-density field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology that provides for system flexibility and future systems improvements through software-only upgrades.
The CXP family of IFF transponders is configured for replacement of all AN/APX-100, AN/APX-101, AN/APX-108, AN/APX-64, AN/APX-72 and AN/UPX-28 transponders. All CXP transponders weigh less than 12 pounds with embedded crypto, and measure 5.375 by 5.375 by 8.375 inches. Their radio control units measure 5.25 by 5.75 by 3 inches.
Navy officials have the option to increase the AN/APX-111 purchases if funding permits, officials say. Companies interested in subcontracting opportunities may contact BAE Systems's Abe Leidner by phone at 631-262-8204, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.